You can combine many ingredients with oatmeal. These can have different effects. Find out the benefits of adding flaxseed to this dish.
These positive effects include ones that are relatively unique to flaxseeds and more general ones you could get from similar ingredients but do deserve a mention because they are so valuable.
1. Reduces blood sugar spike
While oatmeal is definitely not the worst food in this area, it does raise your blood sugar more than flaxseeds.
Foods that are high in fiber and low in other types of carbohydrates can help reduce how much the other foods in the same meal spike your blood sugar (3).
Flaxseeds are a great choice if this is your goal. 100 grams of raw flaxseeds contains around 27.3 grams of fiber and only 1.6 grams of other carbohydrates (4).
In short, the first benefit of adding flaxseeds to oatmeal is that it reduces how much the oats and potentially other ingredients spike your blood sugar. This is generally considered to be good for your health.
2. You may like the taste
This next benefit is a lot simpler and more straightforward. You may simply like the taste and texture of flaxseeds in your oatmeal.
Enjoying your food more is not just something that is nice to have. It could also help you stay more consistent with the eating plan you have made.
In turn, this offers a variety of other health benefits (if you have a good diet plan).
3. Helps you hit your protein goals
While there is not yet a consensus about what amounts are optimal for what goals, it is clear that protein is an essential nutrient for humans and many other animals.
Your muscles and just the cells in your body in general are made of protein.
To create new cells and repair old ones your body needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Your body can create some amino acids but at least some of them need to come from food.
A benefit of adding flaxseeds to your oatmeal is that you increase the amount of protein per 100 grams slightly.
One of the more well-known benefits of protein is that it can help you build and preserve muscle. However, it also helps you feel fuller and just benefits your health in general.
Flaxseeds could make it just a bit easier to hit your daily goals.
One thing to note is that people who struggle with eating enough protein may also want to consider foods like cheese, animal meats, and fish. These tend to contain more protein per 100 grams.
4. Helps you consume more omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are a category of fats that are typically considered healthy. Within this category of nutrients, you have subcategories that include ALA, EPA, and DHA.
Flaxseeds are mostly known for their high ALA contents (6).
While more research is needed on the exact effects, effectiveness, and recommended doses, resolving ALA insufficiencies seems to have positive effects on health (7).
That means adding flaxseeds to your oatmeal could benefit a variety of health areas if you don’t get enough ALA omega 3 fatty acids from other foods.
5. Helps you feel fuller
Besides reducing blood sugar spikes, the fiber in flaxseeds has other benefits too for many people (8).
One of the most popular ones is that fiber helps you feel fuller and reduce hunger.
That means adding flaxseeds to your oatmeal can make the dish even more filling.
6. Easy to add
You may sometimes enjoy the cooking process but most people like that oatmeal is relatively easy to prepare in a short amount of time.
There are also ways to prepare flaxseeds that require more time and effort.
However, a popular way to add flaxseeds to oatmeal, aka porridge, is quickly grinding them in a mixer and adding them to the mix, typically before cooking but sometimes after cooking.
This can be helpful if you are short on time or simply don’t want to put extra effort into your meal.
7. Extra micronutrients
Micronutrients are basically nutrients that are smaller than the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food. These include vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like polyphenols.
One of the benefits of flaxseeds is that they contain a variety of these micronutrients in nice amounts. 100 grams of raw flaxseeds contains some of the following vitamins and minerals (4):
- Manganese: 124% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Thiamin: 110%
- Magnesium: 98%
- Phosphorus: 64%
- Copper: 61%
- Selenium: 36%
- Iron: 26%
Something to note first is that it is also possible to overdo it with vitamins and minerals. At the same time, consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for many positive health goals.
Many people could use more vitamins, minerals, and other smaller nutrients which can make the amounts in flaxseeds a good addition to your oatmeal.
The general daily recommendations for vitamins and minerals are inevitably not perfect for every single individual.
That being said, in absence of more precise estimations, you can use the general recommendations to find out how many flaxseeds you should add to your oatmeal.
8. Can help you lose weight
Excess body fat causes negative effects on health. It is possible to overdo it but many people would benefit in terms of health from losing some weight in the form of body fat.
There are many things that influence whether or not you will lose weight and to what extent. That being said, many people struggle with eating too much of foods that lead to weight gain.
One thing that can help you overcome this challenge is eating foods like flaxseeds that make you feel fuller.
There is a limit to how much food the human body can consume. By eating filling foods, there is less room for suboptimal foods.
Because of their fiber, fatty acids, and protein contents, flaxseeds can be good for weight loss.
One review of 45 other studies concluded that flaxseed supplementation seems to be effective for weight loss, lowering BMI, and reducing waist circumference (9).